Stable fables and Hitchener replacements

Dave shares a hilarious story about an interview gone wrong. 320081

JONTY: Alright boys, a big weekend of action in not only the international cricketing scene but also on the local beat, Dave, where were you and what was your best action?

DAVE: I had to prepare my driveway for some painting on Saturday morning so I did that, had a sore back; so put a couple of cans in the car and went off to watch some cricket. Chris Cleef coached Devon Meadows last year and took 38 wickets, and one of the stories this year which has gone under the radar is that Cleef has not played until this round due to a knee injury and Devon Meadows has still been thereabouts. He comes back on the weekend against Pakenham, defending 160, they bowl Pakenham out for 158 and Cleef takes five-fa.

MARCUS: A big collapse?

DAVE: Yep, that’s two in a row now for Pakenham, so another unfolding story there, but Cleef’s impact in his first game back was the best action. I’m looking at Marcus; he looks a little bit annoyed, because it’s not a specific piece of action.

JONTY: I don’t think there’s anything for him to be.

MARCUS: My best action was Matthew Cox’s run out for Hallam Kalora Park against St Mary’s. Hallam was pushing for the outright so it was pretty inconsequential. Saveen Nanayakkara inside-edged, just misses the stumps and the ball rolls to leg slip. Cox is fielding at regular slip so he has to run around to pick it up. The non-striker Chameera Fernando has set off for a run and Nanayakkara has turned his back on him, doesn’t want a bar of him. Cox runs to leg slip, picks up the ball and throws a direct hit at the non-striker’s end to run out Fernando. And it was right in front of the Frogbox as well, Nanayakkara effectively putting Fernando on the barbecue.

JONTY: Nice. My best action was indisputably what I saw at Cranbourne. I rocked up there on Saturday thinking I’m going there just in case something stunning happens, but never anticipating it actually would. Cranbourne was 6/95 needing 127 for victory with its two best bats at the crease so I thought HSD had about a 10 per cent chance of winning, but their energy in the field was palpable. They got Harsaroup Singh and from there it felt like HSD was on top for a little period, but then Cranbourne got within eight runs of victory and it seemed a step too far. But that’s when HSD took 3/0 in an eight-ball period which takes out my best action. If I had to boil it down into one moment, it would be Clint Ayres’ LBW dismissal by Triyan De Silva, who bowled outstandingly with Ryan Patterson on day two to keep the Eagles under relentless pressure.

DAVE: It sounds like HSD has had a couple of wins this year from nowhere.

JONTY: Yeah, they’re an interesting one. The Cobras probably entered the season as the biggest threats to Dandenong West winning the flag and looked the goods bowling Keysborough out for 92, but won that by only two wickets and their draw in a rain-affected match against Parkfield could easily have been a loss. They’re an emotional side who thrive on momentum but there are some games this year where they haven’t put it together for a full two-day match.


JONTY: I had a less than ideal interviewing experience on Friday which made me think of some interesting experiences when we are speaking to people around the traps, so I’ll start with you this time Marcus….

MARCUS: No, no, no. Tell us what happened. You’ve teased this all weekend.

JONTY: I was at a café with someone interviewing them on Friday and there were no seats inside because it was busy, which is fine, so we went outside and there was a Pitbull-type dog on the table next to us who the owner paid no regard to. It kept barking in our faces. The owner was basically laughing about it. We were on edge the whole time unable to hold a normal conversation because of its loudness. Neither of us could move because we were waiting for our coffees but if I was there on my own I would have expressed my grievances in much more certain terms than what I did, put it that way. On to you, Marcus.

MARCUS: It’s always fraught with danger interviewing people just outside the change rooms because you get people yelling into the mics saying ‘oh that’s a fine’ or whatever. I had a prominent league official interrupt my interview with a coach following a preliminary final to shake the coach’s hand and say ‘good luck for next week’. As he turned and left, I said ‘see you later’ with no acknowledgement. That was one that was particularly disappointing. Also round two this year, this one is my fault, I was interviewing Alex Cruickshank following his five wicket haul on debut for Narre South. I did the interview and asked for a quick photo of him holding the match ball. I’ve gone to take the photo, and my phone dies. That was embarrassing, luckily I was able to turn it back on and take the photo.

JONTY: How could you turn it back on if the phone had died?

MARCUS: I’m not entirely sure. I think it died at like 10 per cent so I rolled the dice but it was a nervy minute.

DAVE: Have you guys heard of the jockey Craig Williams?


DAVE: Very prominent. There was a Pakenham trainer called John Gunning who had a horse called Hi Belle. John had teed it up that I would go to the races with him early in the morning and do a story on the whole day. So I went to the track, followed John around all day and then before the race, Craig Williams comes out to ride the horse and John said to Craig that if he won, I would be on the fence with a media pass and camera. I was right on the winning post. They come around the home turn, Craig Williams rides Hi Belle perfectly, they go past the winning post with Williams smiling at me, I go to take the photo and the battery is dead. Thirty seconds prior I took a demo and it worked, so I was right on the borderline for battery. Then for the next half an hour, Craig Williams is telling media people ‘get out of the way, Dave, come in, you take the photos.’ So here I am, pretending to take photos with a dead camera and I had to ring up Racing Victoria and spend $120 out of my own pocket to get photos that looked like ones I would’ve taken. That is my disaster story. And there is another racing one. On Tuesday mornings, I used to go to the old Pakenham Racecourse; I’d get there at 4.30am for a column called Stable Talk – the footy shorts of racing. So I was interviewing a trainer and it was raining so we went into a little stable with a horse and the horse drops this enormous fart and shits everywhere. It was just an explosion. I looked at her and asked ‘is that normal’. She had never seen it in her life.

MARCUS: Was the fart on the recording?

DAVE: No, we hadn’t quite started yet.

JONTY: Did it go in Stable Talk?

DAVE: Yeah. The sound was amazing and then luckily the horse was facing the right direction because the shit was everywhere.

JONTY: If the horse was facing the other way?

DAVE: I would’ve been covered in……


DAVE: And then we’ve got another one. Jim ‘Frosty’ Miller is from around here. He was sitting there doing a Beer O’Clock interview and seriously, three people ‘Frosty’ had not seen in 15 years since his playing days in Dandenong walked in during that two hour period. He caught up with his own champion teammates and I was just sitting there stunned, like I was in a dream.

JONTY: Those are outstanding stories and I don’t think I’ll beat them but I’ll give a couple. This one’s not a disaster, but a weird happening before I arrived at the Gazette and did some voluntary work for the Frankston footy club. I was interviewing the coach at the time after the game in a toilet cubicle because that was the only place we could find that was quiet, because I think they had won and it was raining outside, there was no undercover so we went into a cubicle. And doing work experience at a different media organisation in year 10, I went up to the top of the Eureka Tower with another journalist interviewing a boxer. I thought the trek up was unnecessary but they wanted to get a photo of the boxer with the world at his feet, figuratively and literally.


JONTY: There was an announcement during the week that Peter Hitchener would no longer be the nightly newsreader for Channel 9 and what an innings it has been for him. He’s been the news anchor for as long as I can remember. Alicia Loxley and Tom Steinfort will be his successors but if there was someone from the local area who could bring a bit of character who speaks well, who would you nominate and why?

DAVE: One person who has really surprised me over the last couple of years is Tooradin wicketkeeper Ben Parrot. When you speak to Ben, he is so articulate. He is president as well. Scotty Pendlebury from an elite sports point-of-view would be good, to see if he can slow down time on the news desk like he does on the footy field. And Rob Elston: in a similar vein to Ben Parrot, he’s a ‘keeper-batter who is the ultimate professional and would have the respect of everyone.

MARCUS: Jonty, I’m sure you’ve probably thought of this as well. There’s someone we both know who thinks he’s a news reader…


MARCUS: Dave sits there and sub-edits our stories and reads it like it’s a news bulletin.

DAVE: I do that because there are people who have a job to write stories for newsreaders, the autocue.

MARCUS: This is consecutive weeks we’ve been able to insert Dave into LTS.

DAVE: I’m a bit uncomfortable with it but you are right, Marcus, I do sub your stories pretending I’m a newsreader…just to make sure the stories flow.

MARCUS: The others I was thinking of: Jarrod Goodes, he has the DDCA radio show on Casey Radio. Brett Forsyth is someone who speaks as well as anyone I’ve interviewed before and Jack Sketcher because he seems to do everything else so well.

JONTY: Outstanding.

DAVE: Jonty, This is your question so I’m interested in your answer.

JONTY: My lead has just changed based on Marcus bringing up Jarrod Goodes. Brent Sternberg is one I did a story on earlier this year because he won an award as a commentator for Casey Radio, so he could do it. I think he is going somewhere with his career given how much time he devotes to speaking well and being researched. I’ve spoken to Jack Howell on numerous occasions, the para-triathlete and part of what he does to promote himself is doing motivational talks and it is very obvious speaking to him that he has that ability to inspire and express himself in an articulate way. And given it is draft week, I’m going to throw Harry DeMattia in there. The phrase “future captain” is overused but I think it suits him perfectly, he speaks outstandingly and has a high performance background and speaking to him for 20 minutes, it takes so long to transcribe because he fits so much in. There are no ums or ahhs. We’ll finish on that note. Good luck to all the boys from the local area hoping to have their names read out. Harry DeMattia went to Collingwood on night one, while forward Zane Duursma and tall Wil Dawson went to the Roos, but there’s plenty more local talent in the pipeline worthy of an opportunity.